Sorry, mushroom coffee, but this salad dressing makes eating medicinal mushrooms way tastier. Watch the video.
When we think mushrooms, we think of the delicious ones that we love on pizzas and in stir fries...and the psychedelic ones that just got decriminalized in Denver. But fun fact: There are over 270 varieties of medicinal mushrooms, and, as herbalist and holistic health practitioner Rachelle Robinett explains in the latest episode of Plant Based, they're great for immunity and gut health.
"Medicinal mushrooms are immunomodulators, so that means that they help our immune system to function at an appropriate level," Robinett says—basically, they can help balance your immune system to potentially prevent it from over- or under-reacting. This is achieved thanks in part to compounds called beta-glucans, which are in the cell walls of many medicinal mushrooms. "When we eat [beta-glucan], it travels into our lower intestine and binds to a certain receptor," she says. There, the beta-glucans tell our immune system to activiate itself with the "appropriate tools," Robinett says, like T cells, to stay healthy.
She adds that medicinal mushrooms are also fantastic prebiotics—meaning that they're rich in the starches and fiber that gut bacteria feed on in order to thrive.
The downside of medicinal mushrooms...they don't taste very good, Robinett says. "It can be really tough to eat medicinal mushrooms in large quantities," she admits. "So having it in a liquid extract like a tincture or in a powdered form can be awesome." Her go-to way to eat medicinal mushrooms: working it into a salad dressing. "It's super super simple to make," Robinett says, "and such an easy way to have an even more functional, medicinal lunch."
But where is this recipe, you ask? Well, you'll have to watch the full video above for the deets.
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